Brian Levin runs the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino and is always called by the mainstream media for insights into hate groups after one of their members commits a crime. Now that word is leaking out that the horrific shooting in Tucson yesterday that left six dead and many injured (including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords) might have been motivated by the shooter's anti-Semitic leanings, the Orange County resident is getting the media call.
But Levin is also putting out his own warnings about the heated times we live in.
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Today,in an op-ed piece for CNN's website
, Levin warns that angry rhetoric on both sides of the political aisles "can help create a charged atmosphere in which representatives may be viewed as appropriate targets for aggression and scapegoating--particularly among those who are unstable and angry." He doesn't offer any solutions, or even blame anyone, but he does end with a philosophical point.
"It's inevitable that in a nation as large as ours, some people who are deranged or have twisted political goals will act out with rage," Levin concludes. "However, the question for those in the political arena is--Why supply volatile attackers, through irresponsible and overheated vitriol, with an extra match?"